Monday, September 28, 2009

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith and Jane Austen

What would the Bennets' life been like with zombies?

You're about to find out! A humorous retelling of the famous Bennet sisters who are not only husband-hunting, they're also zombie-hunting. Having trained in 'inferior' China (as opposed to Japan) the sisters are well known for their fighting skills and kills of zombies in Hertfordshire. Having to give up killing zombies once they are married, the sisters struggle between their father's insistence in fighting and their mother's insistence in attending balls and dinners.

Mr. Bingley makes an appearance as the purchaser of Netherfield, and our story begins. Instead of playing piano, the girls often demonstrate their abilities fighting zombies. All of your favorite characters are here, as Grahame-Smith took the original story and inserted zombies, a few tongue-in-cheek comments, and loosened the language.

If you're a die-hard Austen fan, you may not like this version of Pride and Prejudice. I had a hard time with it at times--especially when a comment made by Mr. Bennet or Mr. Darcy would be ignored by the recipient even though polite society wouldn't have allowed such bad behavior.

Despite these drawbacks, I found the story amusing and well done.

The Witch's Guide to Cooking with Children by Keith McGowan

It's Hanzel and Gretel all over again...only not. Sol and Connie move to Grand Creek with their family to start over. What they don't realize is their parents moved there for a specific purpose. There's a fable told of a witch that takes troublesome children from their parents. But Sol and Connie aren't troublesome--just unwanted. But they don't know that.

Sol and Connie wonder when they don't see any other children in their new town. And they wonder when the next door neighbor, Fay Holaderry, takes a special interest in them. There's something not right about her.

An illustrated story about a brother and sister who are fairly clever and knowledgeable. Fans of Lemony Snicket will also enjoy this novel!

Soulstice by Simon Holt

Soulstice picks up six months after The DeVouring ends. It's summer now, and Reggie, Adam, and Henry are all trying to get back to normal after their harrowing adventure the winter before. That is, until Quinn shows up, back from the "dead" and Adam is attacked by other Vours.

Reggie now fears the Vours will come after Henry once again, but their new target is her. Now that she can enter fearscapes, they believe she can break all the rules for them. It's a contest to see will succeed. And as the Summer Solstice approaches, all bets are off.

Just as good as the first book, this story packs a punch. Creepy and strangely fascinating all at the same time. Don't miss the first book The DeVouring and stay tuned for the third!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Law of Nines by Terry Goodkind

Alex has no idea the fate that's awaiting him as he sees a truck barreling down on him as he's walking down the street. Without thinking, he reaches out and saves the woman standing nearby.

What happens next is impossible for Alex to believe. The woman he saves, Jax, says she's in his world to find him. He's the only one that can save her world. Alex refuses to believe, at least until too many things happen that can't be explained. Soon, he and Jax are on the run and hiding from men out to kill them.

All of this revolves around some land Alex inherited when he turned 27. And the gateway to another world that is somewhere on that land.

If you haven't read the Sword of Truth series first, you'll still understand what's going on in this book. However, you won't get some of the more interesting and subtle hints to what's going on and understanding Jax's story. Otherwise, this is yet another great book by Goodkind. Lots of action, a love story, and magic all wrapped up together in a great package.

The Declaration by Gemma Malley

In the future, everyone takes a drug called Longevity. Because of this drug, no one dies. To relieve the strain on the world's resources, if you take the drug you aren't allowed to have children. Imagine a world where there are no children.

But some people have children anyway. When their caught, they're sent to jail, and their children are either killed or sent to a detention hall to learn how to become servants to the Legals.

Anna is one such child. Captured when she was two, she's only known life at Grange Hall. She's strived her whole life to make up for her parents' Sin and become a Valuable Asset to the world. She's so close to being given to a Legal and leaving the hall for good. And then Peter comes.

Peter's also a Surplus, and been on the Outside for most of his young life. He says he came to Grange Hall for one thing--to find Anna. He knows her parents and they want her back.

Now Anna has to decide who she's going to believe.

It's scary to think of this being a possible future. The story is well told and written. Anna's story is touching and heartbreaking.

Waiting for You by Susane Colasanti

Marisa is a sophomore and determined to turn her social status around. She suffers from anxiety disorder, and spent the last quarter of school the year before at home, unable to deal with school or people.

This year seems to be off to a good start. Derek, the boy she likes, seems to like her. Nash, her friend from 4th grade, is interested in being friends again. And Dirk--well, she doesn't know who Dirk is. He runs a radio show for their high school, but no one knows who he really is.

Marisa's life takes a bad turn and knowing who she can depend on is almost a matter of life and death.

Well written, Marissa seems authentic and real.

Take Me There by Susane Colasanti

Rhiannon has just been dumped by her boyfriend Steve for no reason. She's heart-broken and desperate to get him back. She can't believe things ended the way they did.

Nicole broke up with her boyfriend Danny when her feelings were getting a little out of her control. She also has a massive crush on her math teacher. And some other issues that she may find hard to overcome.

James is feeling pressure from all sides. His feelings for Rhiannon have gone past friendship but he doesn't know how to tell her that. Everything he tries ends up wrong.

See how things manage to get completely out of control and then back together in just one week.

Another good romance from Colasanti. This one is also told in alternative voice, from the viewpoints of Rhiannon, Nicole, and James. Each of their stories is told 3 days at a time.

When It Happens by Susane Colasanti

Told from the viewpoints of Sara and Tobey, this is a story of finding the one you want to be with.

Sara has felt invisible around school and with guys. Then Dave, one of the most popular guys in school, asks her out. She can't believe that it's happening. Soon she's spending a lot of time with Dave and his friends. But she's not sure that Dave is what she wants as their relationship continues.

Tobey has been interested in Sara for a while, just too shy to say anything to her about it. When she starts dating Dave, he feels his chances have all been taken away. With the encouragement of his band mates and her friends, he decides to show her who she is really meant to be with.

A very well-told romance from two points of view. Light-hearted chick-lit.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Wherever Nina Lies by Lynn Weingarten

Ellie's sister has been missing for the past two years, and Ellie just can't let it go. When she sees sisters together or someone who looks like her sister, it all comes back.

Then Ellie meets Sean who seems to understand her need to find Nina. And he wants to help. The clues Ellie finds lead the two of them across the country in a bizarre road trip.

But Ellie has to wonder just how devoted Sean is, and why he seems so sure of where they're going and what they're looking for.

I enjoyed the story, although it was a little hard to get into at first. The story is told from Ellie's point of view, and her pain and anguish at missing her sister is very real and intense. The story hits some predictable points, but it's still well-told and adventurous.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart

Frankie is a sophomore at Alabaster, a private boarding school known for its famous alumni. Last year, Frankie hung out with her older sister, on the outskirts of the popular crowd. This year, she manages to snag the attention of senior Matthew Livingston.

Matthew belongs to a secret society on campus called the Basset Hounds. The Basset Hounds have been responsible for several pranks and parties on campus, but Matthew doesn't share that information with Frankie, even when it appears she might actually be aware of the secret society.

So Frankie decides to take action. Instead of trying to infiltrate the group, she decides to become their mastermind and begins supplying the boys with ideas, keys, and locations for their pranks.

This is the story of how an intelligent, attractive, and independent teen becomes a criminal mastermind.